The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Spanish

Spanish was listed for the first time in the Catalogue of 1848-49. A short course was offered by Professor Louis Fasquelle in the third term of the junior year. This course must have been given as announced, for on July 16, just before Commencement, the secretary of the faculty recorded that a certain junior, Samuel Harper, was found deficient in Spanish.

There was no further mention of Spanish until the spring of 1868, when it was listed with Italian as a senior elective in Page  722all the curriculums in the Literary Department except that for mining engineering. Instruction in these two languages was offered again during parts of the next two academic years. It appears that from 1870-71 through 1886-87 Italian and Spanish were given alternately, first by Professor George S. Morris, and then, beginning in 1880, by Professor Edward L. Walter. A prerequisite of one year of French was established in 1881, not to be removed until 1909. In 1884 Spanish was expanded to a two-semester course. Instruction in Spanish has been continuous since 1886, except for one semester in 1888.

When the first-year Spanish work was taken over by Eugene Leser (Ph.D. Berlin '87) in 1893-94 an additional course was offered — a one-semester, one-hour course on Calderon by Professor Walter. Benjamin Parsons Bourland ('89, Ph.D. Vienna '97) had charge of the elementary courses in 1894-95. The following year he went abroad to study, and Moritz Levi ('87) taught the elementary courses. A fourth semester of Spanish, a one-hour course on Don Quixote, was introduced in 1895-96. In 1898, with the return of Bourland to take full charge of the work in Spanish, the two first-year courses became three-hour courses, and those in the second year were also increased to two hours each. It was not until 1909 that the two courses comprising the first year's work were converted into four-hour courses. A third-year course on Cervantes and the literary history of the Golden Age was added in 1900. From 1901 to 1904, when all the work in Spanish except that for the engineering students was in the hands of Winthrop Holt Chenery (Mass. Inst. Technol. '96, Ph.D. Harvard '04), there were no changes made in the courses offered.

In 1904, with the coming of Charles Philip Wagner (Yale '99, Ph.D. ibid. '02), there began a period of gradual growth and expansion that has continued to the present day. Until 1913 evidence of this interest in Spanish was to be seen in the constant increase in the number and variety of advanced courses offered; after 1913 that interest was most apparent in the addition of sections and the consequent increase in personnel. For example, in 1903 one section was sufficient to care for all beginning students, but in 1914 it was necessary to provide five sections, in 1916 twelve, and in 1919 fifteen. To care for the greater teaching load, one assistant was provided from 1909 to 1914, three were required in 1914, seven in 1916, and fifteen in 1920, when the total enrollment in Spanish classes reached a maximum of 4,339 semester hours.

As it was neither expedient nor physically possible to offer all of the courses every year, a system of rotation was devised that would make the more fundamental courses available every two years, and the more specialized courses every three or four years. The study of Don Quixote, which started as an irregular, one-hour, one-semester course, developed first into a two-hour course, then, in 1907, into a sequence of two two-hour courses, and in 1910 into a year course of three hours each semester offered practically every year. Spanish-American literature has been taught every year since 1925.

Special courses for engineering students in the first two years of Spanish were conducted between 1901 and 1928. At first this work was in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts and was under the direction of Colman Dudley Frank ('97, A.M. '02), Instructor in French and Spanish. When the Department of Modern Languages was formed within the Department of Engineering in 1904, James Pyper Bird ('93, Ph.D. '18) was put in charge of this work. In 1915 he was succeeded by Herbert Alden Kenyon (Brown '04, A.M. ibid. '05), who continued in that Page  723capacity until, in 1928, the department was reabsorbed into the corresponding departments of the Literary College. In the peak year 1921-22 nine sections of Spanish were provided in the College of Engineering and additional instructors were engaged.

In 1939-40 the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures gave twenty-six courses in Spanish, in some of which, especially the elementary courses, there were many sections. In all, seventy-nine separate sections or classes were conducted — forty-eight elementary, twenty-seven intermediate and advanced, and four exclusively graduate.

Today a student interested in Spanish may go from his first two years of elementary work into courses devoted to literature, conversation, or composition, where he will receive special training and preparation for more advanced work. For the graduate student and the prospective teacher, various basic courses are offered in Old Spanish language and literature, philology, phonetics, pedagogy, and grammar. Outside the classroom the interest of the faculty and students has found expression in Spanish plays, radio, and in the social activities of the Sociedad Hispanica.

Charles P. Wagner was coeditor, with Louis How, of The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (1917), and in 1929 the first volume of his El Libro del Cauallero Zifar appeared.